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Suspenders and Belt September 4, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, e-books, history, ideas, VIPub, westerns, Wild West, writing.

We live in turbulent times. But from turmoil comes opportunity. In grad school I had a nuclear engineering prof (my adviser, actually) who never called his impossibly hard tests “tests.” They were “opportunity sessions.” This has stuck with me over the years a lot more than deformation of uranium fuel rods from neutron absorption. How you seize the opportunity is up to you.

Yesterday I wrote about the general, societal desire to be wrapped in cotton wool and experience no challenges at all, be it in the space program or every day life. If you don’t accept failure as a possible outcome, you’ll never achieve victory because you’ve stopped trying.

We are at a turning point in publishing as dramatic as Gutenberg’s printing press or public education. VIPub (Vertically Integrated Publishing) affords us all the chance to publish not only backlist but new fiction. Most efforts will fail but some will succeed. And what makes this revolution so spectacular is that you aren’t locked into an either/or when deciding between legacy publishing or VIPub.

Nothing says you can’t continue submitting your work to the traditional places. I certainly do, and good ole Karl Lassiter just sold another hc western novel, China Jack, to a legacy publisher. I am frantically typing away at another western going to yet another legacy publisher for pb. But as soon as I clear the backlog, a brand spanking new book that could never be published these days will be coming along. Hot Rail to Hell will be an ebook original, the likes of which you haven’t seen (or enjoyed) in over 30 years.

So, the argument most often heard from those committed strictly to legacy publishing (Mike Stackpole calls them “house slaves”) is moot. Do both, if you like. VIPub and traditional. Suspenders and belt. Or just one. Your choice. And ain’t it wonderful that you can choose?



1. Judith Brownlee - September 5, 2011

Liz Williams, a fantasy writer in the UK, is selling her short stories by *subscription* to her fans in contact with her by internet.

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